Portcullis Legals, a niche law firm that specialises in estate planning, has taken on two administration apprentices as part of its growth strategy. Yasmin Serter (17) and Kezia Barnes (16) have joined the company through City College Plymouth’s Apprenticeship programme.
Set up by Founder and Chief Executive Officer, Trevor Worth, nearly 30 years ago, Portcullis Legals has a head office in Cornwood and a ground-breaking retail law store in Plymstock. The latter has proved so popular, the company is about to open another one in St Budeaux. The company was the 2016 Herald Small Business of the Year and, most recently, won the national Corporate LiveWire Award for Innovation and Excellence.
“There are so many reasons why I want apprentices as part of the Portcullis team,” said Trevor. “They will grow with the company and play a big part in its development over the next couple of years. Yasmin and Kezia have joined us with limited work experience, which means we can mould them into the Portcullis DNA. They are the firm’s future leaders.
“What’s great about the Apprenticeship programme is that all the training modules are done in-house, so we can maximise the apprentices’ time in the workplace and make sure the learning is relevant to the legal business. Because they are training on-the-job, they are going to pick things up quickly and give real value to the business from day one.
“A big part of their training will be shadowing key people in the company, so that they get exposure to the whole business. Yasmin and Kezia will have a really varied remit from dealing with customers in the law store, to working on databases in the office. They will also get involved in client management and storage vault duties.”
Trevor is a big believer in on-going education, having studied business at City College after he left school and an MBA at Exeter University more recently. He puts a lot of investment into staff training and professional qualifications, and is still very involved with the College, helping to shape the curriculum and provide advice on what employers need for students to be work ready.
“As a former student I have a real affinity with the College and I have a great connection with the Business Engagement team,” Trevor concludes. “Working with them on the Apprenticeship programme has been superb - I am dealing with ‘people people’ and that really fits with the Portcullis ethos.”
City College Plymouth is one of the largest Apprenticeship providers in the country, with a success rate of 16% above the national average. Working with more than 1,300 local employers, the College’s Apprenticeship programme has been rated as ‘Outstanding’ by Ofsted. With a Government target of three million apprentices by 2020, and a levy coming into play in April, the Apprenticeship landscape is changing. Reforms to funding mean that there will be more opportunities for employers to use the programme to develop and up-skill existing employees, as well bring both young people and adults into the workforce.
For employers wanting more information on the Apprenticeship programme, please call 01752 305026 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
For individuals wanting more information about Apprenticeship opportunities, the College is holding a Course Information Drop-in on Wednesday 8 March, 4.30pm to 6.30pm, at Kings Road. Visit cityplym.ac.uk/events or call 01752 305300 for further details.